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January 11, 2021

Mid-Prairie Community School District

Kalona, Wellman, West Chester

Mid-Prairie Central Office Community Room, Wellman, IA  52356

January 11, 2021 – 6:15 p.m.


President Jeremy Gugel called the meeting to order.

Board members present:   Denise Chittick, Gabrielle Frederick, Jeremy Gugel, Jodi Meader, Jeremy Pickard (participated via Zoom until 7:50 p.m.), and Marianne Schlabach.

Board members absent:  Mary Allred.

Also Present:  Mark Schneider, Jeff Swartzentruber, Robin Foster, Rachel Kerns, Marc Pennington, Bill Poock, Amy Shalla, Frank Slabaugh, Jay Strickland, and Tyler Hotz.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to adopt the agenda as presented.  Seconded by Denise Chittick.  Motion carried 6-0.


Second Semester Early Out Schedule

Superintendent Schneider reported that the Interest Based Committee met today to discuss the need for and continuance of early outs for the remainder of the School Year—80%+ were in favor of continuing the 90 minute weekly early out.  A handout that shows hours with this plan was shared with the board, leaving about 7 hours of cushion.  If there are more than 3 late starts or early dismissals due to weather, then there is a plan to make up these hours. The IBC group recommends the Board consider modifications to the current approved schedule as follows: Change the Early Out Schedule for the Second Semester to 90 minute early outs every week beginning Wednesday, January 27th.  If the recommendation is not acted upon the current approved schedule with 2-hour early outs will remain in effect for every other week beginning with January 27, 2021.  The Board asked questions for clarification in their discussions.

School Bus Bids

Superintendent Schneider noted the bid acceptance recommendation for Hoglund Bus Sales for the purchase of two buses at a price of 108,000 each.  Once delivered, there will be two existing buses that will be terminated from the fleet in accordance with the VW State Grant under which these two buses are being purchased.  The Grant provisions as followed will result in a reimbursement of up to 25% of the purchase price not to exceed $55,000.  At the current price that amount is $52,000.

Spectators at Activities

Superintendent Schneider and Activities Director Hotz discussed the approach to Spectators at Activities given the Governors recent proclamation.  Schools may now open up to spectators as each school decides with provisions for social distancing between households.  The conference AD’s discussed their individual approaches to be followed up with a conference Google document. Hotz also shared about conversations with head coaches of Winter Sports and their desire to have spectators.  However, it is also noted that the consideration for the spread of the virus is in the forefront of people’s minds.  The Board asked questions and discussed that oversight for social distance measures and are not in favor of having administrators or staff enforcing social distance parameters.  The Board also discussed setting parameters and keeping them consistent rather than open all the way and then tighten it down after seeing results and then re-open, etc.

Board Member and Administrator Dialogue

Administrators reported that the Work Day was helpful today.  Some students are returning to the classroom from Virtual Academy.  Virtual Academy will see their counts decline to 102 students due students returning to the classroom at the end of the break over the next two weeks—the high point student count was 191 students in the first half of the School Year.  Administrators discussed some of the strategies of reintroducing students back into the classroom as these transitions continue to develop.  Kindergarten registration planning is underway with a goal to be completed by February 1st using a Google Form on-line approach.  Preschool registration will run simultaneously to Kindergarten registration.  Home School reported that 7 students have returned to the traditional school classes.  Home School families are making great progress.

Board Development and Inservice Activities

There are no activities to report.  And, there is nothing on the calendar through IASB.

Announcements and Suggestions for Next Agenda

The next regular Board meeting will be on Monday, January 25, 2021, at 6:15 p.m. at the Central Office Community Room.  Agenda items to include:  First/Second readings on Board Policies; Discussion of 2021-2022 School Calendar issues; and Early Retirement will be discussed.

Interest-Based Bargaining Negotiations Strategy Session

Superintendent Schneider introduced this time as an opportunity for School Board members to identify areas of concern and/or interest statements to be discussed during upcoming IBB meetings.  This will assist the Board Representatives—Gugel and Chittick—with information to present to IBB.


Public Forum– 7:00 p.m.

No one spoke.

Consent Items

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the following consent items, except for Personnel Items.

Minutes of Previous Meetings

The minutes of December 14, 2020;

Finance Report

The Finance Report through December of 2020;

Payment of Bills

The bills as listed for January 11, 2021; Prepaid Bills; and Hills Bank ACH Transactions for the month of December 2020;

Open Enrollment Requests

Alisha Troyer requests Arya Troyer (Grade 5), attend Mid-Prairie from Lone Tree Community School District for the 2020-21 School Year;

Personnel Items

Contract issued to Aaron Coghlan, MS 8th Grade Boys Assistant Basketball Coach, $1,559 per annum;

Contract Issued to Christine Meader, HS Assistant Musical Director; $2087 per season;

Fundraising Requests

FCCLA requests approval to raise funds through the sale of Strawberrys from February 1st to February 12th for School Leadership Activities and Community Service Activities;

Denise Chittick seconded the consent items.  Motion carried 6-0.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the Consent Item for Personnel items.  Denise Chittick seconded.  Motion carried 5-0 with Jodi Meader abstaining from this vote.

Student Learning

Second Semester Early Out Schedule

With the Discussion during the Work Session of the Early Out Schedule, a recommendation for consideration by the Board was made in the Work Session to change the Early Out Schedule for the Second Semester to 90 minute early outs every week beginning Wednesday, January 27th. 

Jeremy Pickard moved to modify the early out schedule for the second semester to include the recommendation from IBB on the 90 minute weekly early out schedule.  Gabrielle Frederick seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

School Bus Buds

The recommendation is to accept the lowest bid from Hoglund Bus Company for two School Buses at $216,000 in total, or $108,000 per propane-powered bus.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to accept the bid from Hoglund School Bus Sales in the amount of $216,000 for the purchase of two new school buses.  Jodi Meader seconded the motion.    Motion carried 6-0.

Spectators at Activities

Superintendent Schneider discussed the change in requirements for spectators at activities from 2 spectators per athlete plus siblings, and coaches and managers are treated the same as athletes as noted during the Work Session.  Social distance considerations and maintenance of consistency were key concerns for Board members, especially if the approach were to be to go unlimited.  Discussion about limiting the visiting team spectators and not limiting the Mid-Prairie spectators was also considered.

Jeremy Pickard moved to institute the spectator requirements as outlined in Governor Reynolds most recent proclamation.  Jodi Meader seconded the motion.  Motion failed 3-3, Gabrielle Frederick, Marianne Schlabach, and Denise Chittick voted No.

Denise Chittick moved to institute the spectator requirements as outlined in Governor Reynolds most recent proclamation and allow unlimited Mid-Prairie fans to attend while limiting the visiting team fans to 2 tickets per athlete, manager, coach.  Jeremy Pickard seconded the motion.  Motion failed 2-4, Jeremy Gugel, Marianne Schlabach, Gabrielle Frederick, and Jodi Meader voted No.

Marianne Schlabach moved to allow up to 4 tickets per athlete, manager, coach and siblings along with encouraging social distancing.  Denise Chittick seconded the motion.  Motion carried 4-2, Jeremy Gugel and Jeremy Pickard voted No.

Modified Supplemental Amount for Dropout Prevention

Superintendent Schneider introduced the annual resolution for consideration.  The request is for Modified Supplemental Aid for 2021-2022 Dropout Prevention Program of $251,796.00 to implement the At-Risk and Dropout Prevention program plans.  The local match component is $83,932.00.  It is recommended that the Board pass this resolution prior to the January 15, 2022 deadline.

Gabrielle Frederick moved to approve the resolution by reading Resolution 011112101 for Additional Allowable Growth for Modified Supplemental Aid of $251,796.00 for implementation of the 2021-2022 School Year At-Risk and Dropout Prevention program plans.  Jodi Meader seconded the motion.

Roll Call Vote:    Gabrielle Frederick           - yes

                           Mary Allred                       - absent

                          Jodi Meader                       - yes

                         Jeremy Pickard                  - left the meeting at 7:50 p.m.

                         Marianne Schlabach          - yes

                         Jeremy Gugel                    - yes

                         Denise Chittick                  - yes

Motion carried 5-0.

Work Session

Completion of Unfinished Work Session Items

There were no unfinished items from the Work Session section of the meeting.


Nothing added from earlier in the meeting.


The meeting adjourned at 7:54 p.m.